Deputies in Polk County arrest 'traveling scammers'

Posted at 7:30 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 19:30:13-05

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about the red flags of traveling scam artists.

Recently, deputies arrested two men and a 16-year-old boy for going from house to house offering to power wash or paint homes, and trying to fool unsuspecting residents.

“They’re rasperts. They’re trying to steal your money. And you probably won’t even get a quality job,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Investigators arrested Anthony Barfield of Avon Park, his 16-year-old son, and Christopher Kiker. Judd said the trio goes from community to community and state to state pulling the same tricks.

They are not licensed or insured.

“Here’s what we tell everyone. If they arrive with a ladder out of their truck and an out of state tag, than just say no,” Judd said.

In the most recent case, a woman in Winter Haven tells ABC Action News that the group came up to her and offer to power wash her home. She agreed and she paid them after the work was complete.

“I didn’t ask for a license or anything like that,” she said.

Judd said she’s one of the lucky ones. Usually he said they start adding on the services and eventually swindle the resident out of more money than they can afford.

Hiring anyone who is not licensed or insured is also dangerous because if they slip and fall, the home owner would have to pay.